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Month: September 2015

More News and Commentary

Alex Newman comments on Obama’s executive diktat to “nudge” the people with “behavioral science.”

Ron Paul says to blame not America but the neocons for the refugee crisis.

Walter Block loves Thomas Sowell’s economic brilliance, but his foreign policy views not so much.

Jason van Tatenhove clarifies the “M” word — militia.

Jacob Hornberger discusses Pope Francis and the U.S. welfare-warfare state.

Donald Boudreaux says that Pope Francis misses the sizable moral dimensions to capitalism.

Thomas Sowell says the Left has its Pope.

Ryan McMaken suggests to pray that no Pope (or President) visits your home town.

Cliff Kincaid says that socialist journalism is mainstream.

Laurence Vance on Old Testament Christians.

Shane Harris and Nancy Youssef write about the ISIS intel the U.S. military dumbed down.

James Bovard discusses the supreme neglect of liberty at the highest court.

Jacob Sullum responds to Bill Bennett’s call to “bring back the war on drugs.”

William Anderson discusses the economics of Hillary Clinton.

Michel Accad on 100 years of “managed” health care.

B.K. Marcus on homeschooling, the threat to public education.

And Lee Fang discusses the emails showing close ties between the Heritage Foundation and Lockheed Martin.

Envy, Economic Destruction, and Moral Decay: Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders

Both Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders seem to be down on capitalism and they support the imposition of more economic regulations, and higher taxes on “the rich,” in the name of reversing “income inequality.” Which means taking more wealth and income away from the producers, the innovators, the entrepreneurs, the providers of jobs. Which ultimately causes slowed productivity, factory shut-downs and higher unemployment. And then these socialists and fascists call for more interventions, more bureaucratic intrusiveness into private industry, and ultimately, government seizures of whole industries (like health care).

Yes, they are both fascists as well as socialists. But “fascist” sounds bad, unlike “socialist.” That has “social” in it. “We love people!” So Bernie calls himself a “socialist.” And while I don’t think Pope Francis calls himself a “socialist,” I’m sure he probably doesn’t object to that description.

As opposed to “fascist,” which sounds like “Hitler” and all that. But both words have economic meanings, and that’s important.

In my simplistic view of things, I see socialism as “public ownership of the means of production” which really means government ownership, which means bureaucrats usurping ownership away from the people. It is theft, in actuality. And fascism supposedly allows for private ownership, but the controls over the industries, property, contracts and labor are seized by those covetous and power-grabbing government bureaucrats. Both socialism and fascism are enslavement of the people.

As I have stated in the past, minimum wage is an example of economic fascism. Bureaucrats order employers to pay workers not less than a certain amount. The choice is: pay the worker less than demanded by ignoramus bureaucrats and go to jail, or cut those jobs if the employer can’t afford it. Most employers choose the latter rather than going to jail. So that’s a fascist control usurped by bureaucrats over the wage part of the private contract between employer and employee.

Interesting how “liberals” are concerned when private businesses engage in “price gouging,” even though the free market’s raising prices at certain times actually benefits those most in need (as opposed to anti-price-gouging laws which backfire and cause shortages). But when the “liberals” artificially raise the price of labor (minimum wage), they really are “price-gouging” by legal force, and thus causing people to lose their jobs! (Some “liberals”!)

Now, Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders’s complaints are supposedly of the greed of “capitalism” and the “1%“. They want to crack down on Wall Street. In my view, Wall Street is just a de facto branch of the federal government, and is rigged to enrich the insiders at the expense of small investors. Wall Street is also a beneficiary of socialism. Example: The Wall Street Bailout at involuntary taxpayer expense. So Wall Street is not an example of actual free market capitalism.

Actually, there has been very little capitalism, that is, free market capitalism, in America, certainly not in Europe or any of the other areas of the world. There is crony capitalism, in which the established firms get in bed with the bureaucracy’s major power wielders, who write special legislation to pay off the insider established firms’ bigwigs, who have all the legal forces at their fingertips to get around whatever legislation is written that the smaller firms can’t afford to do. This is a main component of fascism, by the way.

Besides the minimum wage, one textbook example of crony capitalism and fascism (that some people have been mistakenly referring to as “socialism”) has been the ObamaCare law, or the Affordable Care Act. This law was largely written by the lobbyists of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. They have benefited a great deal from this new health insurance racket.

In contrast, real capitalism is this: Free markets, i.e. freedom, in which everyone is free to do with one’s own person, labor, property, capital and wealth whatever one wants, as long as you don’t steal, use fraud, coercion or aggression against others. And that’s it. No governmental intrusions or guilty-until-proven-innocent controls, mandates, licensing, or reporting anything to the government. For those are all trespasses, in my view, and thus they are criminal intrusions, which is what socialism and fascism are all about.

In contrast, free market capitalism is the way of life which during the 19th Century led to the greatest expansion in human prosperity and raised the standard of living of most of the people in society. It raised the standard of living of those at the bottom, as well as the middle.

And then in the 20th Century the socialists and fascists came in and wrecked all that. Besides the Europeans and their socialist and fascist centrally planned economic policies and wars, in America there were Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, the two major players whose socialism and fascism gave us the income tax, the Federal Reserve System, and FDR’s many, many fascist bureaus and programs, ordering people to do this and do that, or else.

The socialist redistribution-of-wealth schemes and takeovers of whole industries and/or fascist controls that Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders want to impose on America are an expansion of those which began over the last century. The policies they support are not those of promoting freedom, of liberating the people from the shackles of the State, but just the opposite.

Socialism and fascism are government enslavement of the people. Of course, they would never admit to that, just as the “tax” theft advocates don’t want to call their policies “stealing.” As I wrote in this earlier post, there are some people who mistakenly view the relationship between a capitalist employer and employee as like an “enslavement.” I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “wage slavery.” But in free market capitalism everything is voluntary. The worker is not being forced to work at that place of employment. In a free society, all relationships and contracts are voluntary. In socialism and fascism, they are not voluntary — they are coerced, forced, compelled, ordered, mandatory, or prohibited by government bureaucrats who just like to order people around. And that’s one of the biggest differences between free markets and the socialist/fascist utopia envisioned by Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis.

Besides the personal enslavements, the results of economic policies that Bernie Sanders wants to impose on America and Pope Francis wants to see globally, would be like the terrible conditions in Venezuela. Government’s socialist takeovers of industries and fascist price controls cause shortages and empty store shelves and long lines.

In America, just look at all the free market-directed grocery stores and food distributors we have, with minimal or non-existent bureaucratic intrusions. Prices are set by wholesalers and retailers, not government bureaucrats. No long lines and empty store shelves. That’s capitalism, freedom, and prosperity.

The motivations of Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders, and most of the people on the left, should be viewed as dubious when they continually support policies of government theft of private wealth and government regulations which have mainly succeeded in causing higher unemployment, inflation and economic distress. The Left’s most recent anti-capitalist hero, French economist Thomas Piketty wrote in his book, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, that a progressive, global tax on capital and individual wealth “would not bring the government much in the way of revenue, because it would quickly fulfill its objective: to drastically reduce remuneration…” As quoted in this Mises Institute article, Piketty writes his main point, which in my view mirrors most on the left: “The primary purpose of the capital tax is not to finance the social state but to regulate capitalism.” i.e. not as important to help the poor as it is to make the rich less rich. Which ultimately takes more opportunities away from the middle class and the poor, and it makes the poor poorer as well — that’s how things work with these government interventions. We know that from actual historical and empirical evidence.

So really Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders reflect the Left’s general sentiment of envy toward the successful, the entrepreneurs, and producers and creators of wealth. They promote the policies of wealth destruction and economic and moral decay. After all, promoting the stealing from others’ honestly acquired wealth and property is just that: stealing. And that’s immoral. They can rationalize the institutionalized theft all they want, but that’s what it is. This is also what motivates their obsession with higher taxes on producers to cure “global warming/climate change,” as well. In my view, they are not as concerned with cleaning the environment and preventing “melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels” as they are obsessed with taking more wealth away from the producers of society (and thus taking jobs away from the workers!).

Government Schools as Prison Camps

John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute has an article on the government schools as prisons. It’s terrible what those school bureaucrats have done to the schools now, and what parents have either allowed them to do or are just too passive or intimidated to voice any criticism or outrage.

Now, if you are a government school teacher and one of your students is acting up, being hyperactive or disobedient or disruptive (but not aggressive toward others or a danger to anyone), do you actually call police and terrorize the student? I think that some of those teachers who are compromising a student’s personal security and well-being in that way are doing so because their school manual or rules require them to do that, even if it’s a minor misbehavior problem. These bureaucrat teachers don’t seem to actually think for themselves — in other words, if the administrators want you to call the police on a totally innocent child, then just violate that rule and use your own method of discipline that isn’t like something a Nazi would do.

And if you are a government school teacher, would you notify government police just because a student might possess something that might resemble something drug-related but actually isn’t, as Whitehead refers to in his article? Or if not terrorizing kids with armed police, then suspending them, which goes on their permanent record. That’s really what these idiot sheeple teachers are doing to the kids now with their siccing police on them, literally terrorizing them. If I were a parent of a small child and I heard that a teacher did that to my kid, I’d have the teacher or administrator arrested and charged with terrorism, and with child abuse and endangerment. Siccing armed government police on little, innocent and harmless children is truly an endangerment to their lives, and it traumatizes them. There was none of this police state Nazi stuff when I was growing up. Zilch. If you had read about this back in the 1960s and ’70s you would think you were reading an Orwell novel. Disgusting.

Sadly, one major influence which is contributing to the kids hyperactivity or “attention deficit” is those prescription drugs they give kids now. It’s disgusting how the schools (and parents as well) are poisoning the kids’ bodies and their minds with that crap.

On the other side of things, there are the thugs in the classrooms who are literally beating the crap out of the teachers, according to Walter Williams. As I have noted previously, there is a definite linkage between violence and psychiatric drugs. Are these violent thugs in the schools on those drugs? And if not, why is it that totally innocent and harmless children are being terrorized and arrested by police or otherwise victimized by these government school bureaucrats, while apparently tolerating hundreds of violent acts by the goon students every day? It’s nuts.

Some More News and Commentary

Tom Woods and Lew Rockwell discuss the recent debate of the Repugnicans.

Justin Raimondo reviews the debate and fact-checks the wannabes Bureaucrat-in-Chief.

Richard Ebeling says it is time for monetary freedom.

Becky Akers on the war of the gods.

Jacob Hornberger on the immigration central planners.

Steve Byas asks, What killed black progress?

Gabriel Openshaw documents how the people in freer parts of the world are better off economically.

Stanley Heller says, It’s time to break with Saudi Arabia’s “Kingdom of Horrors.”

Jeff Deist analyzes the Fed’s recent announcement or non-announcement.

Alex Newman on the U.S. military training top ISIS commander.

Eric Margolis says Washington’s panic over Russia sending tanks to Syria is the pot calling the kettle black.

Paul Hein with some questions to ask your local public servant.

Laurence Vance comments on the U.S. Constitution and discrimination.

And Philip Giraldi comments on Israeli military response to children throwing rocks.

Authoritarians Do Not Get What America Is All About

There is a very lengthy and informative article this week by retired U.S. Army Maj. Todd Pierce, titled, U.S. War Theories Target Dissenters. The article discusses the U.S. Defense Department’s Law of War Manual, which says that journalists can be declared as “unprivileged belligerents” by the government and be placed into military detention without charges or evidence against the accused, or they can be killed.

Maj. Pierce brings up the hysterical West Point law professor William Bradford who calls for the military to target civilians who express a dissenting point of view of the post-9/11 war on terrorism, and targeting in particular, quoting Bradford, “law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews.”

And Pierce also quotes retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters as writing that “‘Future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.’ (Emphasis in original.)” Pierce brings up the news media coverage of the Vietnam War, which some U.S. military officers have apparently been brainwashed to believe was a “stab in the back,” even though media critics of the war merely recognized the impossibility of the U.S. winning the Vietnam War, which the military commanders already knew as early as 1967 as was revealed by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 with the “Pentagon Papers.”

Despite his exercising his Press freedom rights as thoroughly protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Ellsberg was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, even though the information he released was to the American people, and not some foreign government.

You see, deep down those in power know that their wars and aggressions and power-grabbing are illicit and criminal, and when the lights get shined on them they not only hide and cover up, but they go after those who shine the lights on them.

More recently, Edward Snowden had been labeled a “traitor” because he revealed a lot of information to the American people regarding the criminality being committed by government agencies against them, the American people. In other words, Snowden revealed what have in fact been treasonous acts, as the U.S. Constitution would define them, being committed by various government employees.

The relevant part of Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

By “them,” the writers referred to the United States in the plural sense, that is, the various States of the Union, and the people of the States.  So when federal government bureaucrats and their armed enforcers and soldiers direct the forces of the federal government against their own people, including the Press, those acts should be considered acts of “levying war” against the people, and thus should be considered treasonous.

In other words, it is the agents of the federal government in Washington who owe their loyalty to the American people, not the other way around.

There was also another important article this past week, On Conscientious Objection and Moral Injury, by Maria Santelli of the Center on Conscience and War. In that article Santelli notes the concept of “killology,” in which the U.S. military has been training the soldiers to suppress their conscience, their moral scruples, in order to make it psychologically easier for them to kill innocent people, and to do so reflexively without a second thought. Santelli also notes that much of the trauma experienced by the soldiers is associated with a guilty conscience, a major cause for the 22+ U.S. military veterans committing suicide each day.

Despite such training, it is the soldier or officer who nevertheless retains his sense of moral conscience who is better able to recognize the injustices and crimes being committed by his own government, and real bravery is exhibited by those who reveal the truth.

Former U.S. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning (now known as Chelsea Manning) was the real deal, in my view. Manning witnessed first hand the war crimes being committed by his fellow soldiers overseas, in Iraq, the murders of innocent civilians, and also became aware of criminality committed by U.S. diplomats. Manning acted on his own moral conscience and took great risks releasing troves of documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning didn’t give the information to some foreign regime. He released the material to WikiLeaks because he wanted the American people to know the truth about what their government and military were up to.

Worse than the government’s treatment of Daniel Ellsberg whose charges of “espionage” were dismissed by the judge at his trial, Bradley Manning’s trial was a farce, a kangaroo court, in which he ended up getting sentenced to 35 years in prison, in addition to the 3 years of mostly solitary confinement and torture he endured upon his initial arrest. So this is much more like the Soviet Union than the America envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

But the government’s treatment of Bradley Manning is how the criminally-minded bureaucracy responds when its crimes are exposed for all to see.

Yet, the U.S. “leaders” have treated actual spies against America much better, such as Robert Hanssen, Aldrich Ames, James Hall and George Trofimoff. They may have sold U.S. government secrets to the Soviets or others, but they apparently didn’t expose embarrassing details of U.S. government incompetence, corruption and war crimes as Manning did.

So the authoritarians of the centralized bureaucracy have it all backwards: these military fascists and their little yes-men minions believe that the federal government is the authority over the people of the States, and the citizens must follow their orders without question. And to criticize them, or expose their wrongdoing, is “treasonous” to these apparatchiks of the regime in Washington. And God forbid someone might satirize or lampoon these fools!

Of course the Vietnam War should have been criticized, by anyone who has a moral conscience. Sec. of Defense McNamara, Sec. of State Kissinger and Presidents Johnson and Nixon were war criminals, as they knowingly and willfully continued to send U.S. troops to their deaths in an unjust war with full knowledge that the war would never be won. They were murderers, in fact, not only of innocents overseas, but of their own fellow Americans.

And in 1991 interventionist President George H.W. Bush attacked Iraq, a country that was of no threat to America, including the bombing of civilian infrastructure, which was followed by sanctions which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, which caused retaliation and blowback, more terrorist attacks against the supposedly “civilized” West, a new war on Iraq perpetrated by Bush’s son, an Iraqi Sharia Law theocracy and now ISIS.

So of course those two Presidents Bush not only must be criticized, and their military must be criticized for war crimes, but they are the ones who should be imprisoned, certainly not those who exposed or criticized their crimes!

And of course the government’s incompetence and criminality in unlawfully apprehending and detaining innocent people and torturing them must be criticized and condemned. When the former CIA officer John Kiriakou reveals the sick torture program is himself imprisoned but not the criminal torturers, we must condemn that injustice. We must also criticize and condemn CIA directors such as John Brennan who defend indiscriminate bombings of civilian areas and a program of murdering suspects without trial or evidence, goofy generals such as Keith Alexander who model a war room after the bridge on Star Trek, and of course Gen. David Petraeus whose extramarital affairs make the top headlines. And by the way, if someone like that is going to cheat on his own wife, can we really trust him to be loyal to the people he was appointed to serve?

And in fact this whole “war on terror” must also be criticized and condemned and de-legitimized, which to many ignorant authoritarians in Washington would be a “treasonous” offense. The “war on terror” in fact has been a war on freedom, and a war on the American people, our security, our property and whatever wealth that hasn’t already been siphoned away. And it is actually these psychopathic terror-warriors who are the actual traitors, as their treason against the American people fits the actual constitutional definition of Treason as discussed above.

But indoctrinated militarist authoritarians believe in a top-down command society, in which the masses are obediently subject to the rule and whim of the “leaders.” The authoritarians do not seem to genuinely understand the ideas of self-determination, self-defense, and each individual’s inherent human right of freedom of thought and conscience, the right to investigate and ask questions, and the right to hold “The Authorities” accountable. Or the authoritarians do understand those ideas, but they merely oppose them. (Perhaps the Soviet Union is more to their liking!)

One thing the authoritarians who are drawn to 21st Century central planning in America don’t seem to understand is, while they love militarism and U.S. military power and oppose the individual rights the American Revolutionaries fought for, those early Americans themselves were opposed to militarism. They, including James Madison, opposed the idea of their new federal government even having a standing army, and Madison warned that governments’ standing armies had been used against their own people.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was the Framers’ answer to the possibility of a centralized government turning its weapons against the people. That is one reason why the Second Amendment refers to “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” not the right of the government to keep and bear arms. The Framers, or at least those who were sincerely concerned with preserving liberty, clearly believed that the people themselves should be armed and responsible for their defense. They did not trust a centralized government army, especially given the early Americans’ conflicts against the British tyrants.

In an article linking the right to keep and bear arms with freedom, Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote, “There have been practical historical reasons for the near universal historical acceptance of the individual possession of this right. The dictators and monsters of the 20th century — from Stalin to Hitler, from Castro to Pol Pot, from Mao to Assad — have disarmed their people, and only because some of those people resisted the disarming were all eventually enabled to fight the dictators for freedom. Sometimes they lost. Sometimes they won.

“The principal reason the colonists won the American Revolution is that they possessed weapons equivalent in power and precision to those of the British government.”

And in recognizing that the new federal government was to be subject to the scrutiny of the American people, and not the other way around, James Madison himself observed in Federalist No. 46 that, “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Now, the modern militarists and free speech-suppressors can shout about the “terrorists,” the “Islamists,” and ISIS all they want. But because of the existence of the U.S. military and U.S. Presidents’ misuse of such a dangerous institution for over a century, having a central planning monopoly in “defense” has mainly been used for offense and provocation, and not for genuine defense. The modern threats which exist are due to the blowback of the U.S. government’s own aggressions against foreigners, which only provokes them and makes the American people more vulnerable because of it. (See Morris and Linda Tannehill, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and Gustave de Molinari, for more on how an armed civilian population would be more effective at protecting themselves from foreign aggression, and certainly less threatening to their liberty than an armed government currently is.)

And finally, on the people’s right to express themselves, to be informed on what their government is up to, and to criticize government goons when such goons deserve to be criticized, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

You bet.

More News and Commentary

Per Bylund on refugees and migrants in a world of government meddling.

Richard Ebeling discusses the human cost of socialism in power.

Thomas DiLorenzo explains how capitalism enriches the working class.

Jacob Hornberger asks, Is Iran right about Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian?

Alex Newman says that Obama plots huge boost to UN military amid child-rape scandals.

David Henderson asks, Would a return to conscription substantially reduce the probability of war?

Kevin Carson says that for the State, Blowback is a feature, not a bug.

Laurence Vance on Democrats, Republicans, and the Bill of Rights.

William Grigg writes about the fascist law professor who thinks that legal scholars who criticize the “war on terror” are “enemy combatants.”

Ron Paul discusses the real refugee problem and how to solve it.

Justin Raimondo says the U.S. government’s hating on Russia means it’s back to the Cold War.

Eric Margolis knows how to end the refugee flood.

Patrick Cockburn says that Britain’s drone executions in Syria are a mark of tyranny.

Gary Younge asks, Are state-sanctioned killings without trial Cameron’s British values?

Nick Short discusses Obama’s theological roots behind “Black Lives Matter.”

Philip Giraldi says the refugee crisis is made in America.

Robert Wenzel discusses Ben Carson, taxes, and the devil quoting scripture.

William Anderson comments on corrupt prosecutors’ persecutions of the innocent.

James Bovard says that Washington plays word games such as “food insecure” to create a fraudulent hunger scare.

Jerome Corsi with an expert who says the Clinton Foundation is a vast criminal conspiracy.

Trevor Timm says the U.S. government’s insistence on weaker encryption puts citizens in harm’s way.

Ryan McMaken says that after the Greek crisis, Euro elites dream of a unified Euro state.

Paul Joseph Watson on the Saudis’ 100,000 empty air conditioned tents but zero refugees.

Adam Johnson on the “do something” lie of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Andrew Syrios discusses marriage and the State.

Mark Nestmann on the government’s encouraging or requiring businesses to spy on customers.

And Walter Block is somewhat against the minimum wage law.

Andris Nelsons: Workaholic? Or, Something Else Entirely?

It is nice to see that 36-year-old Andris Nelsons, who just completed his first season as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is getting the orchestra to play like they are at the top of their game, following years of low morale with the constantly ailing and concert-canceling former music director James Levine. We can see the BSO’s excellence from this excerpt provided by Carnegie Hall’s YouTube channel of Nelsons conducting the BSO in the Shostakovich Symphony No 10 earlier this year. And Nelsons has just already renewed his contract for several more years, up to 2022.

But now we hear that he is taking on an equal position with another orchestra, not as “principal guest conductor” as many of the symphony conductors do, but as “music director,” with similar busy duties and performance schedule as he has with the BSO. That other orchestra is all the way over in Europe as well, the prestigious Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Hmm, perhaps he could have waited a few more years after firmly establishing a relationship with the Boston Symphony? Now, is this just a case of Nelsons easily enduring his first big season with Boston followed by their successful European tour, and accepting the other position as well because he feels he can handle the load and that each job might very well complement the other? Or might this be another case of some young 30-something hotshot with an “I want it all, and I want it all now” attitude, not being realistic in his assessment of his own abilities, and for quite a few years to come? The Boston Symphony Orchestra has already been through enough with Levine and former music director Seiji Ozawa to not want to go through all that again: a tired, overworked, jet-lagged conductor, cancelling weeks and weeks of performances or otherwise not giving it his best, because of juggling too many responsibilities at the same time.

For example, just after the conclusion of a BSO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in 2006, James Levine, who was the BSO’s music director from 2004 to 2011 at the same time he continued to lead the Metropolitan Opera in New York, tripped and fell on his way back stage, and hurt his shoulder and required surgery. This issue was in addition to his weight gain and complaining of sciatica. He then had to cancel four months of concerts. In July 2008, Levine had surgery to remove a cancerous kidney and he fully recovered from that. However, just a year later in September 2009 he had to cancel his Fall concerts for two months because of surgery on his back, a herniated disc. He cancelled much of the 2009-2010 season for both the BSO and the Met, in fact, because of continuing back problems including more surgery. Later, he canceled the second half of his 2010-2011 season because of continuing trouble with his back. In March 2011 it was finally announced that Levine would resign from the BSO but continue with the Met. By that time, Levine had already neglected to sign the contract extension that had been negotiated.

And previous to Levine was Seiji Ozawa who was the BSO’s music director from 1973 to 2003. As I wrote in this post, Ozawa also had long absences from the BSO for medical reasons, exhaustion, tendinitis, and back troubles. Since being BSO’s director Ozawa had suffered from esophageal cancer, shingles, pneumonia, and more back trouble.

But Ozawa seems to have overcome much of that, as we can see in his recent performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. And James Levine also seems to have recovered healthwise and made a big comeback at Carnegie Hall in 2013, and with the Metropolitan Opera this past season.

Back to Andris Nelsons, who has already experienced something similar to Levine’s tumble and shoulder surgery. In July 2013, only two months after signing his first contract with the BSO, Nelsons got a concussion during an accident with a door in his residence. This article states that the door “unexpectedly swung open,” but this later article quotes his wife, the opera singer Kristine Opolais, as clarifying the situation, stating that “It was dark and the door was closed and he didn’t see it … He’s big and he’s like a big child. It is comic.” So now we know he’s a big ‘ol klutz. And he had to cancel his very first post-contract-signing BSO concert at Tanglewood that Summer. Also like James Levine, after Nelsons’s door-accident concussion Nelsons ballooned to a huge 260 lbs. I hope he’s lost some of that extra weight, as one contributor to Levine’s constant health issues was his being overweight.

And more recently, this past June Nelsons canceled his first of several final appearances with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, of which he was music director for seven years, because he had an acute ear infection. (Coincidentally, James Levine also had to cancel performances last July at the Verbier festival in Switzerland, because of … an ear infection.)

Well, I hope these aren’t early signs that Nelsons is another workaholic who doesn’t take care of himself. Or is the Boston Symphony jinxed in some way? Or maybe this is all some sort of hex by the ghosts of past BSO music director Karl Muck, who was interned along with 30 German BSO members by the nationalistic fanatics during World War I? (Ghosts? Has George Noory covered this?)

Interventionism and Its Blowback Results

Apparently some people don’t like it when you bring up some of the contributing factors which led to 9/11, in which the talk radio gasbags conclude that one is “blaming America” for 9/11. They are among the ignorant or just plain in denial of the U.S. government’s murderous foreign policy prior to the 2001 September 11th attacks.

There are many people out there in America who agree with those neanderthals who booed Ron Paul at that South Carolina debate in which he suggested applying the Golden Rule to U.S. foreign policy. The reason they booed is because they believe in American Exceptionalism, in which America is superior over other countries (except in education, economic freedom, Press freedom, etc.), and the U.S. government ought to have powers that other countries’ governments can’t have. The neanderthals from that debate and their fellows throughout America are very selective in what Biblical concepts to follow and which to conveniently ignore. “Do unto others what one would want others to do unto you,” and “Don’t do unto others what one would not want others to do unto you” are the basic rules of ethics and civility which the cognitively dissonant choose to ignore when it comes to foreign relations, for some reason.

For instance, in 1991 when then-President George H.W. Bush started his war of aggression against Iraq, it was not a defensive war, Iraq had not attacked the U.S. or even threatened to do so. The elder President Bush and his Sec. of Defense Dick Cheney authorized the U.S. military’s bombing of Iraqi civilian water and sewage treatment centers, and imposed sanctions and no-fly zones to prevent the Iraqis from rebuilding that infrastructure as well as preventing medical supplies, etc. from being imported into Iraq. This was the U.S. military’s sadistic way of forcing the Iraqi civilian population to use untreated water, which subsequently caused skyrocketing occurrences of diseases and hundreds of thousands of deaths by the mid-1990s. The sanctions continued past 9/11/01, bringing the death toll up to at least a million by 2003, the year of the younger Bush’s new war of aggression, which caused hundreds of thousands of new civilian deaths, displaced millions, effected in the implementation of a Sharia Law theocracy, a new place for Iran-backed terror groups which didn’t exist prior to Bush’s war, and then ISIS. This ISIS organization, as I see it, is a group of young males who were born during the 1990s and 2000s sanctions crisis and have been raised in a dysfunctional culture completely distorted by the interventions, occupations, violence and sadism inflicted on those foreigners by the U.S. government and military.

As we can clearly see, such actions by the U.S. government have been impractical and have resulted in our own disadvantage, to say the least. That is why it is called “blowback.” Such actions have not been moral and ethical, but sadistic and criminal.

Another example as well is the U.S. government’s CIA ousting of the Prime Minister of Iran in 1953 and then backing the Shah’s rule and Savak terror and torture regime. As I have mentioned recently, those criminal interventions by the U.S. government led to the Islamic radicalization of that society, leading up to the 1979 hostage takings and then theocratic rule by Ayatollahs since then. In other words, such radicalization and change to theocratic rule (and Iranian support for terrorism outside of Iran) were direct results of the Washington central planning bureaucrats’ regime change acts.

Another motivation for 9/11 as stated by the terrorists and their aiders and abettors was the U.S. government’s support for Israel. Ooooh, there’s another issue that seems to be a politically incorrect issue to discuss objectively. A real hot potato. And you’re not allowed to bring up the political movement of Zionism. If you say, “Zionism,” to some people therefore you’re “anti-Semitic.” Just hearing anyone say that word “triggers” their reflexive response. But I will say that the early Zionists insisted on the Land of Israel as the one and only one place to be a “safe homeland for Jews,” based solely on the Bible. The British Empire and the U.S. government and other Western governments used their military might to make way for the activists to realize their Biblically-inspired fantasies. But there already were people living there. Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims. And that territory has been completely surrounded by their fellow Muslims and Arabs who sympathize with those whose lives were ended, or whose families were run out of town or whose homes were taken away from them. Most people seemed to be so deeply influenced by the mainstream media’s constant propaganda day after day, for decades, that they have no idea what I’m talking about.

I know, many people interpret such analyses as non-sympathetic to Israel, to say the least. But a lot of people are just misinformed on the history of Israel and the origins of the ongoing conflicts there. And a lot of people are just plain mystical about Israel, and its role as a “safe homeland for Jews.” The mystical ones are not practical, nor have the governments which they have been supporting been ethical or moral in any true sense of those words. My sympathy is with those who are peaceful and respect the lives and rights of others. “But the Israelis have been peaceful and minding their own business and they are being attacked by Arabs and Muslims,” is the usual response. Can we say they have been peaceful and minding their own business when they are living on occupied territory? I’m just trying to be realistic. If a foreign regime invaded the U.S. and removed me and others from our homes and took over the territory by force, I probably wouldn’t like that. (That’s another example of the idea of “Don’t do unto others what one would not want others to do unto you,” by the way. I hope you don’t mind my bringing that up again. If you’re a neanderthal from South Carolina, you probably won’t like that, however.) In other words, what has existed there in that region has been an occupation of an artificial State created by the conquering foreign governments and their militaries, and as long as the occupation continues there, it is unrealistic to expect peace any time soon.

14th Year of September 11th Attacks

For the 14th year of 9/11, here are some articles prior to 9/11/01 which explain more about terrorism and why the U.S. would be a target of terrorists but not other countries such as Switzerland who don’t invade other territories. (The authoritarian socialists and fascists and their loyal, obedient sheeple probably will not like this post…)

1986: Who Are the Terrorists? by Murray Rothbard.

1996: Terrorism, Anti-Terrorism, and American Foreign Policy by Richard Ebeling.

Late-1990s Videos of Ron Paul warning of possible terrorist attacks because of interventionist U.S. government foreign policy.

1999: Breeding Terrorism, by Sheldon Richman.

2000: Terrorism … or War? by Jacob Hornberger.

And some more recent articles analyzing the September 11th attacks.

We Can’t Win This Way by Lew Rockwell.

The Meaning of 9/11 by Justin Raimondo.

The Little Terrorists vs. the Real Big Terrorists by Sibel Edmonds.

Who Was Really Behind the 9/11 Attacks? by James Corbett.

And here is a video by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth on the World Trade Center towers’ collapse.

I Hope Donald Trump Is Thankful for the First Amendment (Saudis Not So Much)

Donald Trump’s arrogant personality has for years been out there for all to see. So there’s nothing new during the current Presidential clownfest in that regard. However, in an interview with the author of a new biography on him, Trump is quoted, stating: “For the most part, you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect.” And it sounds like that isn’t even taken out of context, because how could you do that? I think that one statement tells us about what Donald Trump really thinks of other people. (Not much.) And there really are sheeple out there who think that that kind of contemptuous attitude is okay. They want their President to have that attitude and think that way about them! They want their rulers to walk all over them and treat them like dirt. I know I do.

And Trump is now in hot water for his saying about Carly Fiorina: “Look at that face! … Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” Fiorina responded, “Those comments speak for themselves.” Of course they do! Donald Trump has no sense of self-control, no sense of discretion, or of decency, quite frankly. Talk about someone “not worthy of respect”! However, he is in some way correct about Fiorina. She does happen to have a scary looking face, as other people have noted. She actually is quite ghastly. But really it is her warmongering views that are ghastly, and un-American, in my view. But what is extremely unattractive and even loathsome about her is her close relationship with criminal U.S. government agencies, CIA and NSA. But most of the obedient sheeple in Amerika don’t have a problem with that, with the crimes being committed by the CIA, the NSA, and so on. Even I have suggested possibly boycotting Amazon.com because of its providing CIA with cloud servers, which I would call aiding and abetting what is essentially a criminal enterprise.

However, given that Trump won’t get elected to anything, nor will he get the fixed GOP nomination, I am glad that there is someone who isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind, to counter the political correctness censorship fascism that we have in our society now. The racism fanatics and feminist extremists want to shut down any debate or opposing point of view on various subjects, and it’s like everything is insulting, triggering or hurtful. The thin-skinned industry controls speech now. But they have become extremely irrational in their extremism. For instance, as Brendan O’Neill writes, now complimenting a woman is misogynistic and offensive! Now you can’t even say something nice about a woman. (I guess Donald Trump need not worry about that.)

And recently there was the sweeping-human-rights-abuses-under-the-rug meeting between Obama and the Saudi King and foreign minister. But did Obama ask the Royal Saudi dictator about his regime’s flogging and imprisoning bloggers for criticizing the regime? What about the Saudis imprisoning Saudi lawyers for criticizing their primitive judicial system? And their sentencing human rights activists to years in prison for criticizing the rulers, and giving 300 lashes and jailing innocents merely for helping others to convert to Christianity. In Saudi Arabia, they arrest and jail the victims of rape. Did Obama ask about those aspects of daily life in Saudi Arabia? Nope.

Their whole culture over there is extremely sick and repressive, like the rich version of North Korea. And I think that U.S. bureaucrats need to get over this love affair with foreign oil producers and get the truth out about possible Saudi involvement in 9/11 as well. There have been some interesting articles by James Bovard, Eric Margolis, Russ Baker, and Paul Sperry on all that.

What was really disgusting with the recent invasion by Saudi Royals, and made me almost toss my cookies, was the literally “red carpet” treatment given to those criminal rulers. The Four Seasons hotel redecorated itself with gold and other extravagances to make a “home-away-from-home fit for the billionaire Saudi monarch,” according to Politico.

“Everything is gold,” says one Four Seasons regular, who spied the deliveries arriving at the hotel. “Gold mirrors, gold end tables, gold lamps, even gold hat racks.” Red carpets have been laid down in hallways and even in the lower parking garage, so the king and his family never have to touch asphalt when departing their custom Mercedes caravan.

How sick is that?

The entire hotel was booked for the “79-year-old king’s entourage of Saudi diplomats, family members and assistants, one source said; a full buyout of the entire property was reserved for the visit,” reported Politico.

How absolutely disgusting. Am I allowed to say that? Or will I get flogged and jailed for it by those schmucks? They are literally criminals, who assault, torture and murder innocent human beings merely because they didn’t like what their victims said. Wait, here we have Obama’s war on journalists, his war on whistleblowers, the IRS’s persecution of conservatives, and Bradley Manning’s being tortured pre-kangaroo trial and put in isolation for his harmlessly revealing to his fellow Americans the criminality and war crimes of our government. (Also in the “exceptional” and “divinely inspired” USA, we have prosecutors knowingly letting innocent people be falsely convicted of crimes and in some cases putting them to death, and there are plenty of police S.W.A.T. teams and FBI/DEA/ETC neanderthals who have beaten, assaulted and murdered innocent people with impunity. So I guess Obama and Saudi King really do have some things in common.)

Perhaps Donald Trump can tap into some of his vitriol to criticize those things instead of concentrating on what some fascist politician looks like.

Interventionism Causes Crises: Middle Eastern Refugees Flooding Europe

The crisis we are seeing with refugees fleeing the Middle East and going to European countries is yet another product of government interventionism. In America, there is one crisis after another which is also caused by interventionism. The cure, of course, is decentralization. Freedom. Live and let live.

I don’t have much to say about the religious craziness going on overseas, but that problem seems to be a culture of young people, mostly male, being indoctrinated and encouraged to act on their violent urges, and getting off by torturing, murdering and beheading innocents, and using presumably religious dogma to justify it. They were, sadly, born into Middle Eastern, Muslim-dominated areas which are now products of faulty American interventionism and other Western government interventionist fiascoes.

But America, too suffers from the terrible results of government intervention.

Patrick Cockburn of the U.K. Independent explores where the refugees fleeing to European countries are coming from, and why. And it appears to me as though America may be in the beginning of such chaos and crises as well.

Cockburn writes, regarding the wars and collapsing states in the Middle East and North Africa (emphasis mine):

Such wars are currently being waged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, south-east Turkey,Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and north-east Nigeria.

Most of them achieved self-determination when imperial powers withdrew after the Second World War. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, they were ruled by military leaders who ran police states and justified their monopolies of power and wealth by claiming that they were necessary to establish public order, modernise their countries, gain control of natural resources and withstand fissiparous sectarian and ethnic pressures.

These were generally nationalist and often socialist regimes whose outlook was overwhelmingly secular. Because these justifications for authoritarianism were usually hypocritical, self-interested and masked pervasive corruption by the ruling elite, it was often forgotten that countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya had powerful central governments for a reason – and would disintegrate without them.

It is these regimes that have been weakening and are collapsing across the Middle East and North Africa. Nationalism and socialism no longer provide the ideological glue to hold together secular states or to motivate people to fight for them to the last bullet, as believers do for the fanatical and violent brand of Sunni Islam espoused by Isis, Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. Iraqi officials admit that one of the reasons the Iraqi army disintegrated in (2014) and has never been successfully reconstituted is that “very few Iraqis are prepared to die for Iraq.”

Cockburn points out that most of the collapsing states in that entire region had some kind of self-determination after World War II, after “imperial powers,” such as France and Britain, withdrew their occupations. Well, by “self-determination,” he means the bureaucrats of the ruling regimes had independence from the formerly occupying governments. Obviously, the people of those regions did not have “self-determination,” as those places were ruled by generally authoritarian governments in which the rulers did not particularly respect the rights of individuals.

And the very same authoritarian nationalism and socialism of which Cockburn writes had already taken over America right at the very beginning of its founding. And this is why the U.S. is collapsing. A country with a powerful centralized government ruling over the people is doomed to collapse.

When the American colonists seceded from British rule, it took years for the King to finally concede defeat and “formally” acknowledge America’s independence (such as it was). The early post-Revolution Americans had some freedom of “self-determination” (but not the African-Americans or women), but there were the centralists such as Alexander Hamilton and then “Honest Abe” Lincoln who loved the centralized State and fought tooth and nail against the right of the people to their independence and autonomy. The centralists loved government-controlled money and government-controlled banking. Lincoln gave us the legal tender laws and the National Bank Act, taking away Americans’ freedom of choice in currencies and taking accountability and responsibility away from bankers with a fractional reserve banking system and bailouts. The bureaucrats of the U.S. government took the people’s freedom away further with the institutionalized theft of the income tax and the central planning extremism of the Federal Reserve System. Things went way down hill because of U.S. “leaders” taking America into World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. FDR and LBJ decimated freedom in America with one fascist New Deal and Great Society scheme after another.

And thanks to Eisenhower’s Iran coup in 1953 and the U.S. government’s supporting the Shah of Iran and Savak for 25 years, there was then the Islamic radicalization in Iran and its expanded effects. And thanks to George H.W. Bush starting his war of aggression against Iraq in 1991 and his and Bill Clinton’s imposing sanctions and no-fly zones, those regions thus became raging fires of anger, religious extremism, vengeance, and confusion. Eisenhower wanted to help the British seize the oil in Iran, and Bush wanted to aid and abet the neocon central planning extremists in replacing the fallen Cold War enemies with entirely new enemies to fear, hate and destroy. The reason why the neocons, the interventionists and other extremists hate Iran so intensely is because they still have resentment toward Iran for the 1979 taking of American hostages (which was elicited by the U.S. government’s own 25-year long support of Savak!), just as they can’t let go of their hysterical Cold War hatred of Russia.

And look what America has become now. It is not much different from the centralized Soviet regime, with controls over just about every aspect of daily existence and volumes and volumes of rules and regulations for every economic activity imaginable. Many of those who understand how dangerous America has already become — the police state, the fascism of political correctness enforcement and censorship — are fleeing the United States, for Mexico, ironically enough, as well as Chile and other South American countries, and to other parts of the world, such as Bangkok, Switzerland and China. The ex-pats are not exactly in the millions, yet, but it may soon come to that. There is already a Bureaucratic Berlin Wall in America, and we have the demagogic windbag Donald Trump who, like the millions of other collectivist ditto-heads, wants to build an actual Berlin Wall at the southern border, with snipers and all, so that eventually that apparatus will be used to keep the people in, not out. The other demagogic windbag, Bernie Sanders, wants further economic Berlin Walls, such as minimum wage and other strangling economic restrictions to prevent those at the bottom of the economic ladder from climbing up. The left-leaning economically-ignorant commies in America cheer on Sanders, while the Rush-bots cheer on Trump. They deserve each other, as far as I’m concerned!

So while some Americans are recognizing that America is becoming just another banana republic dictatorship and are leaving in droves, we have an immigration crisis at the same time, with Mexicans and others coming up from south of the border. The chaos is being caused in part by the U.S. government’s immoral central planning failure in immigration, the U.S. government’s drug war, and the welfare state.

Can you imagine ending central planning in the U.S.? And all the freedom we might very well have after putting the planners and bureaucrats and all their little minions back into the private sector (or deporting them actually, which is appropriate in my view!). Just as the people ended alcohol Prohibition in the 20th Century, they need to end prohibition of any item or non-violent act, and abolish the BATF, the FDA, and all the other unconstitutional bureaucracies in Washington!

And end central planning in immigration. Not that I’m a big fan of the U.S. Constitution, but it actually only mentions “naturalization,” which refers to citizenship. It does not mention “immigration”! How nutty is that?! The “constitutionalist” ditto-heads do not seem to want to hear about that. While most of the early Americans recognized the right of all people to freedom of movement and travel, and the right to migrate, why would they then give the new Washington central planners the authority to interfere with such rights?

And end the welfare state in America and the warfare state as well. No more imperialism, no more empire, no more involuntary U.S. taxpayer funding of al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Saudi Arabia, and other terrorist organizations! Close all the foreign U.S. military bases and bring all U.S. troops back to the U.S. and put them into the private sector so they can be productive for once, and not destructive!

And encourage the people of those foreign lands to do the same, not just in Middle East, Africa and Asia, but Europe as well. End the communist EU! End ALL central banks and decentralize and liberate the people’s exchanges and trade! And really let people have their freedom and independence!

I know, some people may think I’m way off because they are brainwashed zombies, but those are the basic principles of maintaining a civilized society, believe it or not.